music school

“Do not be afraid, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.”

I can’t get to sleep, so I’ve ended up having another wee look through that bundle of music school-y stuff. I’ve just come across a copy of my testimony from my senior soldier enrolment which was, unbelievably, 3 years ago. I make mention to music school a lot in it, and how much it has helped me in my ‘journey’ so far. Which it has, undoubtedly. It’s a strange experience, music school. Don’t get me wrong, it’s strange in a good way. For that one week a year, you’re so cocooned into the music school bubble that you almost feel invincible. By the end of the week, spirits are so high, and faith is generally pretty strong.

One thing I’ve always found overwhelming about it is the way people talk, so openly, about their faith and relationships with God. This is something that always seemed alien to me, and I still find it difficult. I even mentioned in my testimony, how much I love the way so many young people share their experiences and stories about their faith. (I’m aware that may sound a bit eccentric to the ‘outsider’ or ‘non-believer’, but we’re honestly not crazy..)

I’ve had many a great conversation at music school, and last year was no exception to this. I finally admitted both to myself and others, how unhappy I was with the way my life was going, and was given the encouragement and support to actually do something about it. I talked, I cried (a lot, on the Thursday night!), I prayed, and thankfully, things changed. I’m very grateful for the people who God worked through and gave me encouragement and advice that week, and some of them will probably never know just how grateful I am.

The only thing is, after that week ends, reality tends to hit you pretty hard. or it does for me anyway. And, more often than not, spirits die down pretty quickly. Promises you make during the week tend to be broken mere weeks later, and that’s that until you go back the next year. Thankfully friendships seem to last a bit longer than that mind you, and all of my best and closest friends are one’s I’ve met at music school. Here’s to making and strengthening more this year!!

I’m suddenly really excited for this year’s music, or rather ‘summer’ school, given that it’s less than three weeks away. Regardless of what else happens during the week, spending a week with your best friends all in one place, without any interruptions from the outside world is pretty awesome. (even if two of my fav’s aren’t going this year!! ūüė¶ ) And hopefully the hype and excitement of it all can last a bit longer than just that one week this year!!

No doubt there will be a follow up post (or ten!) after it, but until then, I’ll leave the chorus of the song I’ve had on repeat for the past half hour. (and which I’m certain I’ve quoted before…)

“I’m in His hands, I’m in His hands. Whatever the future holds, I’m in His hands. The days I cannot see have all been planned for me; his way is best. You see, I’m in His hands!”

Acceptance

I had a very productive bank holiday Monday and cleared out and tidied my room. In amongst a load of stuff, I found a wee folder I’ve got full of stuff from music schools and youth councils from over the past few years, with various different keep sakes and random things. (including confetti from a canon the boys fired in our room in the middle of the night!) I came across my wee post it notes of encouragement people had given me at the prayer concert thing from the past two years, and another set from cell group from two years ago. Reading through what people wrote and what they think of me, and being reminded of how much they mean to me actually made me pretty teary. (I’m just a big soppy thing really!)
A few in particular stood out –

“A friend accepts us as we are, yet helps us to be what we should”

Now I know I say this about a lot of quotes, but I like that. Because those true friends you have do love you despite all of your imperfections, and yet they help you straighten those wee issues out to make you be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Which is pretty cool really, considering how easy it is to silently judge someone for the rougher bits of their personality.

The other one that got me blubbing was this:

My lovely Roslyn,
I love how no matter how little or much we talk we know that we will always still be there for each other. Never forget what a fabulous person you are and how much you mean to so many.

What more can I say? I love this girl dearly, and she’s seen every side of me. Shy, chatty, happy, upset, grumpy, funny, angry, caring…she’s seen it all. She’s probably one of the few people I’ve ever properly let myself be ‘me’ around, and yet crazily she still wants to be my friend (?!!) We can have laughing fits that last ages, or spend hours putting the world to rights. We don’t see each other nearly as much as we’d like to, (and to be honest, i was scared i was losing her recently), but like she said, we’re always there for each other when we need it. I love you, girl x

This post doesn’t particularly have a point, it was just something I felt like sharing. But I will finish it with this thought – never take those you love for granted!!! Things change, and you never know how long you’ve got with them. So tell them you love them.

be yourself

“Just be yourself, there is no one better”

“It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves.
We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed curled up and silent, chests rising and falling with our own rhythm.
We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing.
You don’t see yourself looking at someone with care and love inside your heart.
There’s no mirror in your way when laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you.
Because you would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments that make you truly beautiful.

I have no idea who originally came up with that quote, but i found it online and it’s been reblogged a few times, and i love it. I already put it in a previous post full of quotes, but I thought it deserved a post of it’s own.

Just as it says, it really doesn’t make sense to judge ourselves, because indeed we often can’t see all those little details that make us the people we are. I find it way to easy to compare myself to other people, on so many different things.

For a start, on looks. As someone with irritatingly bushy, uncooperative hair, I’m constantly comparing myself to other people. Both to my friends and to people I don’t even know. It’s always the days I think mine is a worse riot than usual that everyone else I see – be it family and friends, customers at work, or just random people in the train station – is having a better hair day than I am.

Secondly, on talents. Be it academic, musically, even driving skills, I can’t help but compare my abilities to that of others. Someone’s smarter, cleverer, better cornet/piano/guitar player/singer, better driver, better at parking, better at cooking, better at communicating, better friend.

It’s just too easy to put yourself down by belittling yourself in comparison to others. Or I think it is. I’m not very confident in the first place, so doing this all the time doesn’t exactly help. Thing is, it’s so so easy to say something you don’t like about yourself. To name something you think makes you ugly or less important than others. Something that you’re not good at. But when asked what you like about yourself? That’s a whole different story. When you’re doing those silly team building things and you need to say something you like about yourself, I never know what to say. We were asked it at music school last year in relation to our appearances, and I came up with nothing. It sounds depressive, but I genuinely couldn’t think of anything I particularly liked about how I looked. And the same goes for personality and skills.

It’s so much harder to see our best skills, traits, and what makes us really beautiful. I really don’t know what mine are.. (and actually I’d be intrigued to hear what people thought….so if you want to please share!!!), and yet Matt for example can rhyme off a list of things he loves about me…most of which I’d never have thought of or said myself.

We don’t notice those little things that make us special, but it’d be cool if just for one day we could see ourselves how others see us. Good and bad. If nothing else, it’d certainly be eye opening!

“Make the most of yourself – for that is all there is of you.”

soul searching

I’ve seen the movie ‘Bruce Almighty’ plenty of times, because it’s funny, a bit quirky, and lets face it, Jennifer Aniston is awesome and you can’t beat Morgan Freeman’s voice. It was on tv a few weeks ago and I caught about half of it, and there was a catchy wee song in it that I’d never really noticed before. I quite liked it, so googled a line of the lyrics to find out what it was called. It’s called ‘God-shaped hole’, which, if you’ve seen it, you’ll know fits in with what the film’s about. I bought the song on iTunes and had a read through the lyrics, and decided I liked it even more.

“Every point of view has another angle
And every angle has its merit
But all comes down to faith
Thats the way i see it

You can say that love is not divine and
You can say that life is not eternal
“all we have is now”
But i don’t believe it

There’s a god-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There’s a god-shaped hole in all of us
And it’s a void only he can fill

Does the world seem gray with empty longing
Wearing every shade of cynical
And do you ever feel that
There is something missing?

There’s a god-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There’s a god-shaped hole in all of us
And it’s a void only he can fill

That’s my point of view…”

I like that it suggests that God really is there for everyone, and does love everyone. I like the bit in the chorus that says “the restless soul is searching….and it’s a void that only he can fill.” In other words, so many people know there’s something more, and that God’s out there somewhere. And that no matter what they try to convince themselves otherwise, or what they try to fill that hole with, they wont quite feel complete until they accept God. Now, that’s a pretty presumptuous take on it, and maybe even naive, and a lot of people could argue til they’re blue in the face from both sides of it, but i think it’s a nice thought. That God’s there for us all, just, not everyone’s ready or wanting to hear it yet. But when they are, he’ll still be there.
I specifically like the way it ends with the repeated line of ‘that’s my point of view’. So many people have different takes on God and Christianity and religion and what it really means, and it always makes me wonder who, if anyone, has got it right.

When we were on holiday, my mum bought a wee arty plaque for the wall that had a bible quote on it. With it, came two post cards also with verses on them, which I’ve decided are now mine. The pictures of them are below, and I’ll finish this post with them.

“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” Colossians 3:15

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

it’s a wonderful world

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make yourself proud..

So on holiday last month I bought some more little card things that have quotes and inspirational sayings on them to go with the others waiting to go up on my wall.

“You are more powerful than you think.”De La Vega

“Life is like a box of chocolates … you never know what you’re gonna get.”Forrest Gump

“Life is a journey not a destination.”Souza

“I don’t know if we each have a destiny or if we’re all just floatin’ around, accidental – like on a breeze”Forrest Gump

“Be the change you wish to see in the world…”Gandhi

“Make yourself proud.”Peter W Smith

It’s pretty evident that things don’t always go the way you’ve planned. (John Lennon’s “Life it happens when you’re busy making plans” quote comes to mind…) Sometimes it changes direction for the better, and sometimes for the worse. Personally, I find it more than easy to see only the negatives when it does go wrong, but I know I shouldn’t. Just because a part of your life hasn’t gone the way you wanted or expected doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into something equally wonderful, if not even better than you’d planned in the first place. Or so I’d like to think.

I start a new degree at a different university in September, and quite frankly I’m a wee but terrified. After I realised the last one just wasn’t for me, I was pretty lost. I didn’t know what to do now that my original (and only) plan had failed. And I’m more than scared that the same thing could happen again. (cos lets face it, it could!) But, I’m determined to use my experience from the last time round to make this time far far better, and to make sure I actually enjoy what I’m doing, and enjoy life, instead of dreading it. My confidence is much higher, and I (think) I’m ready for this next step.

I’ve realised lately that sometimes all you need is encouragement and the belief and confidence that you can do something, in order to achieve it. Now i know that won’t always work, but it can certainly be a nudge in the right direction even if you still need to put in a tonne of hard work along with it.

I spent so much money in a gorgeous little shop in California that I got a free notepad, and it happens to have a bundle of quotes dotted throughout it, and I think they sum up this post quite nicely.

Follow your heart.
Do what you love.
Create positive change.
Enjoy simple pleasures.
Give thanks.
Live with intention.
Make the world better.

make yourself proud

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